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Episode 2698: The Messianic Faith Of The Elite; The Coup Against Nixon

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New revelations about a secret plot by some members of the American political and business elite to overthrow President Richard Nixon in the early 1970s have emerged in episode 2698 of the popular podcast series “The Untold Story”. Titled “The Messianic Faith of the Elite: The Coup Against Nixon”, the episode sheds light on the role of a little-known religious group called the Family, or the Fellowship, in the coup attempt.

According to the host, Peter Levinson, the Family was founded in the 1930s as a way for wealthy and powerful men, mainly from the evangelical and conservative wings of Christianity, to network and support each other in their personal and professional endeavors. Members met informally at a mansion in Washington D.C. known as the Cedars, where they prayed, studied the Bible, and shared their visions of a mission to bring God’s kingdom to Earth. The leader of the Family, then and now, was a Norwegian immigrant named Abraham Vereide, who preached a message of Christian nationalism and advocated for a “defense of free enterprise, private property, and American exceptionalism”.

Levinson argues that the Family’s influence grew during the Cold War, when Vereide and his followers saw themselves as part of a spiritual battle against communism, atheism, and moral relativism. They also sought to cultivate relationships with leaders in other countries, especially those seen as strategically important or vulnerable to Communist takeover. Among the Family’s international connections were dictators like Indonesia’s Suharto, Guatemala’s Rios Montt, and South Korea’s Park Chung Hee, whose regimes were accused of human rights abuses and corruption.

In the United States, the Family’s reach extended to the halls of power, as many members belonged to Congress, the judiciary, or the executive branch, or had close ties to them. Nixon himself was said to be aware of the Family’s existence and attended their prayer breakfasts, which became a staple of Washington’s political and social calendar. However, according to Levinson, Nixon also became wary of the Family’s close links to the CIA and the military-industrial complex, and suspected that some of their members were plotting his downfall.

The podcast delves into the details of the coup attempt, which unfolded in the spring and summer of 1973, after the Watergate scandal had broken and Nixon was under mounting pressure from the media, the public, and his own party. Levinson claims that a group of Family insiders, including Supreme Court Justice William Rehnquist, Secretary of Defense Melvin Laird, and former CIA director Richard Helms, hatched a plan to convince Nixon to resign and let Vice President Spiro Agnew assume the presidency, with the backing of the military and the FBI. They allegedly believed that Agnew, who was also a member of the Family, would be more compliant and loyal to their cause than Nixon, who had grown increasingly erratic and paranoid.

However, the coup plan unraveled when Agnew himself was forced to resign due to a corruption scandal, leaving the way open for Nixon to cut a deal with Congress and the media that allowed him to stay in office until his own resignation a year later. The podcast suggests that the fallout from the failed coup may have contributed to the decline of the Family’s influence, as some members were exposed and criticized for their role in the plot, and others started to distance themselves from Vereide’s apocalyptic vision.

In conclusion, episode 2698 of “The Untold Story” offers a glimpse into the hidden world of religious and political machinations that shaped the Nixon era, and raises important questions about the role of faith and power in American society. While some may dispute the podcast’s claims or question its sources, it reminds us that history is often more complex and ambiguous than we think, and that even the most respectable and connected groups can harbor dark secrets and dangerous ambitions.

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